Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

awesome open-face sloppy joes

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I love Sloppy Joes because there are so many different ways you can make them. You can be boring, or you can be adventurous. After a few hours playing around with this in the test kitchen, I would define this version as being mildly adventurous. It has most of the usual suspects for a good Sloppy Joe, plus a few additional items to kick it up a bit. Oh, and don’t forget to toast the bread… that will give the sandwich a bit of crunch, and good mouth feel. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield 4 serving(s)
prep time 15 Min
cook time 45 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For awesome open-face sloppy joes

  • 1 lb
    ground sirloin
  • 1 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil, more if needed
  • 1 md
    yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 md
    green bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and diced
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 1 tsp
    hot sauce (i like franks)
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp
    mild chili powder
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    ground mustard
  • 1 pinch
    cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • 4 oz
    tomato sauce
  • 3 oz
    bbq sauce (i like sweet baby rays, vidalia onion flavor)
  • 1/4 c
    filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp
    cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • bread, of your choice

How To Make awesome open-face sloppy joes

  • 1
    Gather your ingredients.
  • 2
    Add the oil to a large sauté pan, or skillet, over medium, and heat until shimmering, but not smoking.
  • 3
    Chef’s Tip: I choose grapeseed oil, because it doesn’t impart any additional “oil” taste, and it has a higher smoke point: 420f (216c). Compare that to olive oil with a smoke point of 320f (160c). That gives you the ability to sauté the veggies without smoking up the house… I like that.
  • 4
    Add the onion, and pepper, and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • 5
    Chef’s Note: As the veggies are sautéing, season with a bit of salt, to taste.
  • 6
    Chef’s Tip: Adding the salt at this stage of the game will help the veggies release their moisture.
  • 7
    Add the garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • 8
    Add the tomato paste and the hot sauce to the sauté pan.
  • 9
    Stir without stopping until incorporated into the veggies, about 1 minute.
  • 10
    Add the ground beef to the sauté pan.
  • 11
    Stir, breaking apart with a wooden spoon until the beef loses all of its pink, about 6 minutes.
  • 12
    Incorporate the cumin, chili powder, paprika, mustard, and cayenne to the sauté pan. Add a bit more salt, if you feel it needs it (I usually don't think that it does).
  • 13
    Stir until just combined, about 1 quick minute.
  • 14
    Finally, add the BBQ sauce, tomato sauce vinegar, water, and Worcestershire.
  • 15
    Chef’s Note: If you want to kick up a bit more, add a bit of Sriracha sauce. BANG.
  • 16
    Bring the mixture up to a light boil, and then bring down to a very light simmer.
  • 17
    Cover and allow it to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • 18
    Chef’s Note: Every 5 minutes, uncover and stir.
  • 19
    Chef’s Tip: If after 30 minutes the mixture does not appear to be thickening, remove the lid and allow it to simmer uncovered for the remaining 15 minutes.
  • 20
    Meanwhile, toast the bread.
  • 21
    Place on a plate. If you like you could run a couple of lines of mustard down the bread, or serve it on the side.
  • 22
    Chef’s Note: I like to serve mine with coleslaw; however, the sandwich stands on its own. Full stop.
  • 23
    Add the sloppy joe mixture to the bread.
  • 24
    Serve while still nice and warm. Enjoy.
  • 25
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.